Website Design: Color Me Blue
Chris, a new consulting client, asked me to help him increase sales on his affiliate marketing site.
As he was describing his site and the problem, I thought, "This is going to be a quick fix."
How wrong I was!
His site was excellent. Other than a few minor points, it followed all my basic rules for a successful affiliate marketing site.
The site was focused around a single theme in a profitable niche, with an excellent selection of high-priced, high-commission products.
Chris had gone the extra mile to have his site professionally designed, and it was simple, elegant and user-friendly, employing consistent navigation and a nifty database-driven search results system.
He was working directly with his merchant partners to create ad copy that offered his visitors the best possible deals.
And he was advertising in the pay-per-click search engines to drive tons of targeted traffic, and using hundreds of keyword listings with brilliantly worded titles and descriptions.
So, why on earth were his sales so low?
- a domain name change
- a background color change
- reformatting the page table size
- rephrasing offers more positively
- adding relevant graphics and photos
- dropping poor performing merchants
- adding a newsletter
- adding new products
- redirecting non-buyers to additional offers
Chris implemented all my suggestions as well as a few of his own. After giving the new version a few weeks to prove itself, we scheduled our second teleconsulting session. I was anxious to hear how well the site was now performing.
You can appreciate my dismay when Chris told me that his sales had actually dropped!
I reviewed his site again, and it suddenly struck me... he should try blue links!
Because web design convention suggests that links should be blue, visited links purple and active links red. Although nothing written in stone about link color, I believe that those conventional colors should used whenever they compliment site design.
I'd changed my own site links, Sage-Hearts. com, from maroon to blue sometime before and noticed a nice conversion rate increase.
Sure enough, that WAS the answer to Chris' site problems...
His conversions increased 1100% almost overnight JUST by changing his link color to blue.
In addition to being underlined, people expect links to be blue, and in some cases visitors may have problems with sites that don't conform to their expectations.
With the average site visit lasting only about 8 seconds, we don't have time to waste confusing our visitors with basic site navigation. Use blue links if possible to keep your navigation instantly recognizable, unambiguous and consistent.
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